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Virginia Beach Metro Area: Insurance, Healthcare and IT Businesses Flourish

Updated on May 23, 2015
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Virginia Beach, Virginia | Source

Tidewater and Hampton Roads

According to geological surveys completed by the US government, Tidewater is the land located east of a line named the geological Fall Line.

Historically, Tidewater is the old Chesapeake Bay Colony before the Revolutionary War and the area surrounding it, including the bay. As today's large eastern Metroplex, several cities and counties in Southeastern Virginia, along with one county in North Carolina, would all be connected if it were not for several rivers and smaller waterways that divide them from one another. Some call the place a megalopolis.

This Metroplex largely in Virginia contains ten major cities and has been nicknamed Tidewater as well as Hampton Roads.

Virginia Beach Metroplex Area

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A markerTidewater VA -
Tidewater, VA 22572, USA
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B markerNewport News VA -
Newport News, VA, USA
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C markerHampton Roads VA -
Hampton Roads, Hampton, VA, USA
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D markerCurrituck County -
Currituck County, NC, USA
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Independent Cities in Virginia

As a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) of the US Federal Government's Office of Budget, the large community also contains a single county in North Carolina for business, economic, workforce development, and other analyses.

The cities in the Commonweath of Virgina are, in fact, not part of the counties in which they sit, but are completely independent governmental units by themselves.This is all very interesting.

Different sources list some variation in which cities and counties are included in the Metroplex discussed here, but taken together, they form a powerful marketplace and jobs resource. Tidewater is also a popular place for vacationers, given its recreational, entertainment, and historical.

Places to Visit in the Metroplex

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Reenactment of the first landing in Jamestown VA in 1607. Actor is Dennis Farmer as Capt. John Smith, 2007.Governor's Palace Museum in Williamsburg
Reenactment of the first landing in Jamestown VA in 1607. Actor is Dennis Farmer as Capt. John Smith, 2007.
Reenactment of the first landing in Jamestown VA in 1607. Actor is Dennis Farmer as Capt. John Smith, 2007. | Source
Governor's Palace Museum in Williamsburg
Governor's Palace Museum in Williamsburg | Source

Visit Jamestown and Colonial Williamsburg

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A markerJamestown VA -
Jamestown, VA 23185, USA
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B markerWilliamsburg VA -
Williamsburg, VA, USA
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C markerCarter's Grove -
Carter's Grove, Williamsburg, VA 23185, USA
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Colonial Williamsburg Upgrade in the 2010s

During the spring of 2014, Colonial Williamsburg leaders bid to acquire Carter's Grove Plantation, a 1755 mansion and 400-acre property given up by its owner as too expensive to maintain. It is on the James River and makes a good addition to the attractions at Jamestown and Colonial Williamsburg.

The plantation was part of the colonial theme park from 1969 - 2003, was sold to a millionaire, who gave it up after a decade.

Reference: Va. Plantation Returning to Colonial Williamsburg by Steve Szkotak of the Associated Press on May 21, 2014.

When I first visited Colonial Williamsburg in the mid-1960s, the park was small and admission was free. Today, the installation includes the entire city as well as a large district of refurbished historical sites and activities at the price of $52.00 per adult in the mid 2010s.

"Second Battle Off Virginia Capes." 19th c.  painting owned by US Navy at the Hampton Roads Naval Museum in Norfolk, VA.
"Second Battle Off Virginia Capes." 19th c. painting owned by US Navy at the Hampton Roads Naval Museum in Norfolk, VA.

Tidewater Area Description

Counties In the Metroplex:

  • Gloucester,
  • Isle of Wight,
  • James City (County),
  • Mathews,
  • Surry,
  • York; and
  • Currituck County of North Carolina.

Major Cities In the Metroplex:

  • Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Smithfield, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg.

The Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act of 1988 is a conservation act that protects these additional Virginia COUNTIES:

Accomack, Arlington, Caroline, Charles City, Chesterfield, Essex, Fairfax, Hanover, Henrico, King George, King and Queen, King William, Lancaster, Middlesex, New Kent, Northampton, Northumberland, Prince George, Prince William, Richmond, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Surry, and Westmoreland, and these additional Virginia CITIES: Alexandria, Colonial Heights, Fairfax, Falls Church, Fredericksburg, Hopewell, Petersburg, Richmond. However, for the analysis of economy, business, and jobs, the Metroplex actually refers to the first list of counties and cities above that are located more closely together.

Local Airports

Still others choose to divide the Metroplex from the rest of the state, according to the nearest airports. Many consider the communities around these three airports to be Tidewater:

However, Richmond is rather far to the northwest from the rest of Tidewater. In addition, Metroplex residents requiring non-stop lights to Europe still fly out of Washington Dulles International Airport .

The Metroplex

In general, the Metroplex covers much of Southeastern Virginia and the region around Chesapeake Bay, especially the eight cities listed under. Many of the cities touch one another and it is difficult to distinguish between them as one drives through. The area is one of the 50 most populous metropolitan areas of the USA.

A markerTidewater, Virginia -
Tidewater, VA 22572, USA
get directions

Job Growth in IT, Medical, and Insurance

The Top 10 Jobs in the Tidewater/Hampton Roads Metroplex include the industries of Information Technology (IT) in a number of fields that span health and medical segments, Healthcare, Bioengineering, and Insurance.

A fairly new job designation, Environmental protection technician, is also in high demand.


  1. Network Systems and Data Communications Analysts
  2. Veterinary Techs
  3. Personal and Home Health Aides
  4. Biomedical Engineers
  5. Insurance Sales Agents and Insurance Underwriters
  6. Computer Software Systems Engineers,
  7. Physician, Medical, and Dental Assistants
  8. Database Administrators
  9. Network and Computer Systems Administrators
  10. Environmental Protection Technicians

USS North Carolina SSN 777 Christening at Northrop Grumman Newport News, 4/21/2007.
USS North Carolina SSN 777 Christening at Northrop Grumman Newport News, 4/21/2007. | Source

Largest Employers In Virginia Beach Metro Area

The Metroplex hosts this list of companies and agencies that are among Virginia's Top 100 Largest Employers. The list contains the name of the organization and the city within the Metroplex where you can find it.

  • Northrop Grumman Newport News, Newport News - Part of the NASA Commercial Crew of privatized space exploration and business partners.
  • University of Virginia Health Systems, multiple sites
  • National Aeronautics and Space, Hampton
  • College Of William and Mary, Williamsburg
  • Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Williamsburg
  • Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, Norfolk
  • US Navy Department, Production Dept, Portsmouth
  • Bon Secours Maryview Med Center, Portsmouth
  • Landmark Inc., Norfolk
  • Old Dominion University, Norfolk
  • Maryview Behavioral Medicine, Portsmouth
  • Anheuser-Busch Inc., Williamsburg
  • West Telemarketing, Hampton
  • Norfolk Shipbuilding and Drydock, Norfolk
  • Chesapeake General Hospital, Chesapeake

Click thumbnail to view full-size
SMS Moltke at Hampton Roads, 1912USS Enterprise at Newport News
SMS Moltke at Hampton Roads, 1912
SMS Moltke at Hampton Roads, 1912 | Source
USS Enterprise at Newport News
USS Enterprise at Newport News

Major Virginia Beach Companies

In addition to the above list of Metroplex's 15 largest employers, the City of Virginia Beach's Top 10 Largest Employers include:

  1. American Systems Engineering
  2. Amerigroup
  3. Manpower
  4. Geico Direct
  5. Gold Key Resorts
  6. Stihl
  7. Virginian-Pilot Production Plant
  8. Christian Broadcasting Network
  9. Lillian Vernon Corporation
  10. MILCOM Systems

A markerCity of Virginia Beach, Virginia -
Virginia Beach, VA, USA
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Virginia Tidewater Consortium for Higher Education

This region's colleges, universities, and vocational schools include several major facilities:

© 2008 Patty Inglish


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    • profile image

      Christina 6 years ago

      Only been here for a month and I love the area (Virginia Beach). It is very different compared to Texas. But I would have to's hard starting over and looking for a job.

    • profile image

      funky23 6 years ago from Deutschland

      absolutely well done

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 6 years ago from North America

      I never picked up all the hate of the tunnels on my visits to the area (it's been 5 yrs since I visited last but had visited every couple of years before), and I do like to be active all hours of the day and night. Sounds like you REALLY hate it there, though. I feel the same way about my own city, since we have an average of 40 additional cars put onto the roads every day of the year, amid massive contruction. You cannot get anywhere! But visitors love the city, so there it is.

      Metroplexes are groups of metropolitan areas in the DOL and Census literatures.

    • AlanSwenson profile image

      AlanSwenson 6 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      If you lived here you would hate the bridge tunnel, or any and all bridges and tunnels unless you like traffic 24/7. But anyways, why are you calling hampton roads a metroplex? I have never heard this term before. Is it a fancy term for metropolitan area? Also people hate going over the bridge tunnel so much that most people in what is called the southside "Norfolk,Suffolk, VB, Portsmouth" try to never cross it. and most people that live on what is called the peninsula, "Hampton, Newport News, Williamsburg" try to never go to the southside. Still confused about what a metroplex is. Nice article though, I can just easily tell you don't live here.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 8 years ago from North America

      Thank you for this encouraging information. It certainly helps our readers. Thanks for your visit!

    • luvintkandtj profile image

      luvintkandtj 8 years ago from USA

      THis is my home town. its a decent area to live in not overly expensive or cheap

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from North America

      Thank you commenting Jan! I was awestruck with the scenery before the tunnel was built and the view in the photo is simply wondrous. I'm glad you enjoy it.

    • Jan Mosbacher profile image

      Jan Mosbacher 9 years ago from Devon

      The bridge tunnel looks amazing, thanks for showing the photo.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from North America

      Thank you Jason.

      When compared with Atlanta, the #1 City named by Forbes in their own list of Top 25 Cities for business and jobs, the Virginia Beach, etc. Metroplex rates anywhere from 11% to 20 % lower in cost of living than Atlanta, among the various cities and counties it contains.

    • Jason Stanley profile image

      Jason Stanley 9 years ago

      Your hub makes this sound like a pretty nice place to live - how do they rank on cost of living expense with other top cities in the US?